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New England Law hopes to turn hotel ballroom into a classroom during the pandemic

New England Law Boston has filed plans with the BPDA to rent the 6,400-square-foot ballroom at the neighboring Revere Hotel on Stuart Street for use as a three-section classroom.

If approved by the BPDA and ISD, the proposal would be the latest example of hotels picking up some revenue by renting space to a local school.

This space is adjacent to the Law School, has a dedicated point of access, and a regular capacity of 950 (per Boston Inspectional Services Occupancy Certificate), which will be used at less than 11% capacity. This space is dedicated exclusively as a classroom for the 259 students (split into three sections) in the incoming class who elected in-person learning.

The school says seats would be set up six feet apart, the professor will teach from behind a plexiglass barrier and entering and exiting will be done in shifts to maximize the potential for social distancing.

Guests in the hotel, which is current operating at 20% of capacity, would be barred from the ballroom section of the hotel.

Other examples of hotels renting space to schools includes the Westin Copley, much of which now houses more than 800 Northeastern first-year students, the Midtown Motel, which Northeastern has taken over completely, the W Hotel, which is housing Emerson students and the Hotel Boston in Brighton, which Boston College rented to house quarantined students.


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This building was my middle school (BRCS). It was sold and converted to the hotel and now will be partly used as a school. Talk about full circle

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The classroom won't be divided into three sections. The students will. In law school, the students in a class year are divided into sections, groups which take classes together. That explains how 259 students will use a 950-person room at 11% capacity -- in shifts.

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At BU, Shelton Hall and Myles Standish Hall were originally hotels, as was a former Howard Johnson's on Commonwealth Avenue (whose dorm name I don't remember now).

At MIT, the fancy-looking building at the west corner of Mass. Ave. and Memorial Drive was built as a hotel. It was Ashdown House when I attended, and is now Maseeh Hall.

A Quality Inn on Mass. Ave. in Cambridge was converted to a Harvard Law School dorm. I think part of it was demolished during the conversion.

The Buckminster Hotel in Kenmore Square became a Grahm Junior College dormitory, then was reconverted to a hotel.

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